State gears up for LS poll, VVPAT to be used

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 17th Jan: Voters across the state would be exercising their franchise at 2,861 polling stations including 603 in urban areas in the upcoming 17th Lok Sabha Election 2019.
In a significant move to check election fraud, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) would be used as an addition to Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for the first time in the whole state though it was used at a couple of polling stations in the last state assembly election.
A total of 19,30,912 electorates have been registered for the 60 assembly constituencies of the state, which include 9,39,926 male, 9,90,960 female and 26 third gender voters.
For the first time trans-gender voters have been registered as third gender in the state.
The number of male voters has increased by 7,135 and female by 8,508.
Addressing media persons at the office of Chief Electoral Officer, Lamphelpat, CEO Manipur PK Singh said that the figure of the final electoral rolls published on January 11 will change as intensive revision/updates are being done and will continue till the day of filing nomination.
Stating that Manipur was the first state in the country to publish the electoral rolls and upload it on ERO Net, he informed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has praised the CEO office for its efficiency.
He also said that for the first time in the state Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) will be used for service voters, whose number is 16,643 now. The final list will be published on February 22.
He informed that ECI has lowered the limit of cash transactions by candidates for campaigning purposes from Rs 20,000 to Rs 10,000 per day.
Candidates and parties will have to make payment using crossed cheques, drafts or electronic means, including NEFT/RTGS, through the account of the candidate opened for electioneering which will be monitored, he informed. Informing that special focus has been given to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), whose number is above 4,000 in the electoral rolls, he said that for the first time EPIC and Voters Slip will be printed in braille for visually impaired voters apart from giving preferences to the PwDs to exercise their franchise while mapping them with volunteers and providing transportation. He also said that more than 800 visually impaired voters have been identified till date.
PK Singh further said that a single toll free helpline number 1950 will be launched on National Voters’ Day on January 25 and a model polling station will be set up with basic amenities in every constituency. The state has achieved 100 percent photo electoral rolls and issued 100 percent EPIC, he said, adding that distribution process of remaining 53,000 EPIC cards will be done before or during the observance of National Voters’ Day.
Citizens can download Android based cVIGIL App from Google Play Store. The app allows voters to send geo-tagged videos and photos of any violations of the model code of conduct that take place during the election. Political parties will appoint booth level agents to check and solve any problem in collaboration with Booth Level Officer (BLO), he said.
It is worth mentioning that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has assigned CEO Manipur to develop creative multimedia campaign for print and social media for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019 after the grand success of SVEEP campaign “I am ready” in the print, electronic and social media.


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